The new BMW sub-brand focused on developing sustainable mobility solutions has been launched. “BMW i represents a new movement in premium mobility. The products and services have been conceived around a revolutionary approach: purpose designed and purpose built for sustainable, premium mobility. It’s a new day in our industry; a new era for individual mobility. This is BMW i—Born Electric,” said Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing, in Munich on Monday.
Two models will be launched under the new sub-brand from 2013—the BMW i3 and BMW i8. The BMW Group will also significantly expand its range of mobility services over the years ahead. To achieve this, a Venture Capital company was founded in New York City, BMW i Ventures, with an investment totalling up to 100 million US dollars.
“The BMW i brand comprises vehicles and services developed since 2007 as part of project i, a BMW Group think tank exploring sustainable mobility solutions. It is the BMW Group’s response to changing customer needs, including increasing demand for alternative drive trains, such as electric drive systems and hybrids. With BMW i, we are building on the success and strength of our core brand,” emphasised Robertson. The BMW i3—previously known as the Megacity Vehicle—will be the BMW Group’s first series-produced car for urban areas to be driven by electric power alone. The BMW i8, meanwhile, is based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study. Its plug-in hybrid drive blends the sporting ability of a high-performance machine with the fuel consumption and emissions of a small car.
Both models are based on a revolutionary construction concept known as LifeDrive architecture. An aluminium chassis houses the powertrain, and the passenger cell consists of high-strength but extremely lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
An additional range of mobility services—which can also be used independently of the cars—will be an integral component of BMW i. The focus is on solutions which will improve usage of existing parking spaces, as well as intelligent navigation systems.